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Sophia Smith, USWNT
Sophia Smith, USWNT (Photo: Ringo Chiu,

USWNT Not Themselves Against Vietnam, Tougher Test Ahead vs. Netherlands

By: Grant Salsman

If you just glance at the score line from Friday’s game, it looks like a good 3-0 win for the USWNT. Nothing compared to their 13-0 win over Thailand in 2019’s World Cup opener, but nonetheless it was a good victory.

However, the tale of the tape is much deeper than that.

The U.S. was dominant. They out shot the Vietnamese 28-0 and only allowed 26 completed passes in their own half. But they did not look like themselves. They were nowhere near clinical enough in front of the net and would be expecting more goals with all of the chances that they had.

Thankfully for the U.S., they were facing a much lesser opponent and did not have to worry about these chances being missed, but they will have to be better going forward.

On Wednesday they play the No. 9 team in the world, the Netherlands. It is a rematch of the 2019 World Cup final in which the US won 2-0. The Dutch have only ever beaten the US once in 1991. The winner of this game will most likely clinch a spot in the knockout rounds and will be set up nicely to win the group, which will give them an easier path to the final.

If the Dutch are going to pull off the upset, Lieke Martens and Sherida Spitse will be vital. Martens is the top scorer on the team and the ability she possesses to create chances will be dangerous when she has the ball on the left. Spitse is the backbone of this team, she is the captain and the most capped player with 215 appearances. She will be used as a center-back or in the midfield and will be crucial to stop US attacks and create chances for the Netherlands.

The United States need to continue to rely on their young superstar, Sophia Smith, who scored twice against Vietnam. Be on the lookout for her to score against the Dutch. It is going to be a tougher test for the USWNT but I expect them to rise to the challenge.

Final score prediction: USA wins 3-1.